Unexpected Side-Effects

United States
January 16, 2016 9:58am CST
I was injured in an accident in November. I am better, but not over all of the injuries yet. The pain in my shoulder has increased instead of getting better. This pain caused other symptoms this week. One really freaky one was a drop in my body temperature that caused me to shiver considerably. When I spoke to the advice nurse at my medical provider’s office, I was told to go to the emergency room. After doing the expected tests and answering the usual questions, a course of treatment was devised. I was given a short course of steroids to help with the inflammation and pain because I am allergic to the other medications that are usually prescribed. The drug seems to be helping with my back and arms, but I have noticed an unexpected side-effect. My breathing is much better. I have well controlled asthma. I take my prescribed preventative medication each morning and evening and avoid my environmental triggers. But that does not mean that my breathing feels “normal”. It just means that I am able to live a pretty normal life, although avoiding the triggers sometimes means not going outside for a few days from time to time. While I have been on these steroids, I realize that I can inflate and deflate my lungs completely without rattles or wheezing, even at night. Nighttime is problematic for most asthmatics, including me. I usually do not lie on my back, as this seems to exacerbate my condition. I feel much better without the pressure in my lungs that I usually feel. It took an unexpected side-effect of this medication for me to realize that I could breathe better. So I just emailed my primary care doctor and told him about my discovery. Hopefully there is a way for us to use this turn of events to tweak my usual asthma treatment routine to hold on to this improvement. It’s great to feel my lungs expand completely. This has not happened in years. Have you ever experienced unexpected positive side-effects from something you have done?
29 people like this
28 responses
@jaboUK (55201)
• United Kingdom
16 Jan 16
That's an excellent result, but as Ajmal says I don't believe steroids should be taken long term. However, your doctor will know what is best for you - I hope he can find a way to make your breathing easier.
5 people like this
• United States
16 Jan 16
No, steroids should not be taken, except for a short period of time. But I am hoping that there is something else that I can do to keep enjoying all this lovely air!
4 people like this
@jaboUK (55201)
• United Kingdom
16 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace Good luck with that.
1 person likes this
@hereandthere (33020)
• Philippines
16 Jan 16
how you described living with asthma is such an eye-opener no xray was done on your shoulder back then or now?
5 people like this
• United States
16 Jan 16
It was back then, but we thought the problem was from swelling. Did not realize that my spine was jolted so hard. The pain travelled down the nerves on both arms. The ER Doctor said that was a tipoff that my spine was hurting.
4 people like this
@Asylum (48223)
• Manchester, England
16 Jan 16
Your doctor is unlikely to change his prescription because of this. Steroids are very useful for occasions, but not advisable in the long term. Repeated use of steroids would have many unwanted side effects.
4 people like this
• United States
16 Jan 16
I know, but how do you keep them down on the farm, after they've seen Paris? I have breathed deeply, and I like it.
5 people like this
@Asylum (48223)
• Manchester, England
16 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace Hopefully your doctor can explain the actual risks involved, which would give you a better understanding and allow you to consider the choice a little better.
2 people like this
@marlina (79654)
• Canada
16 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace Glad for you that you can breath better. Funny that you mentioned that quote about "Paris' as I read this one in my book about President Truman last night.
3 people like this
@LadyDuck (182458)
• Switzerland
16 Jan 16
This is a pleasant side effect. I hope that your doctor can prescribe something to allow you to continue to breath better, because you surely cannot continue to take steroids for a long time.
3 people like this
• United States
16 Jan 16
Right and right. The bummer is that I am allergic to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. They work well for other people.
3 people like this
@LadyDuck (182458)
• Switzerland
17 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace This is a real problem. The doctor, for me knee, has prescribed "green clay" to apply on the knee the evening before going to bed. It is incredible how it get out the inflammation from my knee. It's an all natural product, it is used to heal injured horses legs.
2 people like this
• United States
17 Jan 16
@LadyDuck I'll look that up, thanks. Tequila is a natural anti-inflammatory. Margaritas all around, but after the steroids, should not be combined.
2 people like this
@boiboing (12881)
• Northampton, England
16 Jan 16
I tell people that when I got cancer my verruca cleared up. I'm sure it was only because I stopped fretting about it but it's nice to think life clears up the minor stuff whilst you're dealing with something more important.
3 people like this
• United States
16 Jan 16
That is a trade, but not a very good one, I think. Hope you are fine now.
@boiboing (12881)
• Northampton, England
16 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace Fine and dandy thank you. Over five years post surgery and treatment.
2 people like this
• Philippines
17 Jan 16
@boiboing verruca is a new word for me - plantar warts? did they clear up for good?
• Eugene, Oregon
17 Jan 16
I have had to take few medications so far in my life, no prescriptions at all on a full time basis, so have not had the opportunity to experience good or bad side effects.
3 people like this
• United States
17 Jan 16
Wow. You are a very lucky guy. I don't take much for my age, just something for the asthma, allergies and my bones. All were unavoidable for me, genetic and related to my age and gender. But anything I could have avoided, I have.
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (44661)
• Uzbekistan
16 Jan 16
That's good to hear but as the others have said it's questionable that you'll go on with this kind of medication. I haven't had such an experience up to now.
3 people like this
• United States
16 Jan 16
I know that this medication will not go on. It should not, but there might be something else that will help. Finger crossed.
3 people like this
@DianneN (87972)
• United States
16 Jan 16
As I read, I was thinking how your discovery may help others. Hope it lasts for you.
2 people like this
• United States
16 Jan 16
My sister, who has lots of experience with health issues (unfortunately) says this is common.
3 people like this
@DianneN (87972)
• United States
16 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace Well, enjoy breathing deeply while you can. What accident did you have?
3 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
17 Jan 16
@DianneN - I agree that @ElizabethWallace should breath deeply while she can. Perhaps they can give her steroids or something similar once in while ... just to help her out.
3 people like this
@Inlemay (17141)
• South Africa
17 Jan 16
I am a permanent experiment to 'side effects' of all medications - a Doctors nightmare as my doctor says. And the Asthma might even be triggered by your stress of all the happenings and goings on. Shame - i hope you feel some relief soon.
2 people like this
• United States
17 Jan 16
You are correct about stress. I do my best to avoid it. Now that I am retired, the work related nightmare of teaching related stress (one of the highest of all professions) is gone for good! Loved teaching, hated the admin making things worse instead of better.
2 people like this
@Inlemay (17141)
• South Africa
18 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace I watch my daughter with the teaching stress and I see her sould being ripped from her - Why is this? Is it too much dedication or are the children of another bread?
2 people like this
• United States
18 Jan 16
@Inlemay It is rarely the children that cause the stress. It is mostly the administration. Sometimes it is parents. Both can make a teachers' life miserable. It is as if this is all they life for. What should be the norm is, hire good people, give them what they need to succeed and get the heck out of their way. This is rarely done. When it was common, students were far more successful and teachers rarely quit their jobs.
2 people like this
@softbabe44 (5899)
• Vancouver, Washington
17 Jan 16
Sometimes it can get really scary.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jan 16
You are correct. I read everything and make my decisions based on what is known and my doctor's recommendations. Then I pay attention and follow directions. This is how to prevent negative side effects from becoming too serious. I know when to run to the E.R..
1 person likes this
• Vancouver, Washington
17 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace The Dr is the best plus they say we know our own body's when something isn't right.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Jan 16
@softbabe44 I mentioned this in the E.R. I knew that some of my symptoms were within the normal range for the general public, but they were way off for me. My blood pressure is usually 105 over 56, but it was 165 over 88 in the E.R.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (73573)
• Walnut Creek, California
16 Jan 16
Will your doctor respond to your email? My primary doctor NEVER responds to anything I say in emails to him. It ticks me off. Kaiser is not good at training their doctors in "bedside manner."
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jan 16
I have had excellent success with Kaiser. All of my doctors have been great. I always get a thoughtful reply within 24 hours.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (73573)
• Walnut Creek, California
16 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace I have found their specialists to be great. My torn ACL was repaired perfectly. But their GPs--not so much.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jan 16
@TheHorse I was very lucky. In 1989 I bought a condo in Marina Del Rey. A Kaiser doctor was my neighbor. He offered to find me the best doctors in the clinic and did. Have kept them ever since, although I now live quite a distance from there.
@aju007 (1470)
• Thiruvananthapuram, India
16 Jan 16
Yeah steroids accelerate our body activities. But its not good if you take it for long periods. I can see you was prescribed it in accordance with your shoulder pain. But dont try to use steroids after it is cured as it is not good for us. And Get well soon
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jan 16
No, I won't. I have a six day pack, and that is all I need for my back and shoulder (I hope). But I sure like this breathing thing. Gee, everyone else gets to breath like this all the time? Lucky.
1 person likes this
@aju007 (1470)
• Thiruvananthapuram, India
16 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace We find the value of something when we lose it!
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jan 16
@aju007 Since my breathing declined slowly, I did not realize the difference. I do now.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (68542)
• India
16 Jan 16
I rarely take allopathy medication. But I did buy something for sciatica, or what I thought to be sciatica. I used it just a couple of times, that too half half tablets. Have not felt the need to use anymore.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jan 16
I almost never take pain medication. I have to be really hurting like I was this time.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (68542)
• India
16 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace ..hope you are feeling better now.
2 people like this
• United States
17 Jan 16
@vandana7 I am, but I am still taking the steroids. Ask me in a week.
@iamshane487 (1154)
• Manila, Philippines
17 Jan 16
What is the cause of your injury? I am taking steroids to treat the pain I feel everytime the soreness and pain in my joints as well as my back are hitting me. I am enduring a side-effect to.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jan 16
I tripped over an extension cord that idiot put in an area designed for pedestrians. It should not have been there. It it was really necessary (which it was not), it should have had a big sign or bright color over it. It did not. I didn't see it and went flying.
@garymarsh6 (14500)
• United Kingdom
17 Jan 16
Steroids will help to reverse some conditions however when you are weaned off them the symptoms may come back and sadly sometimes with a vengeance if abruptly stopped. Make sure they are slowly reduced.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jan 16
The packet I have is a step down. Six, then five, then four, etc. My doctors are pretty smart and work hard to keep us all healthy. I am increasing my anti-inflammatory foods and beverages. This may help some, oh, and aiming physical therapy at the site.
1 person likes this
@cacay1 (33199)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
17 Jan 16
I am so sorry to hear about your sickness.I haven't experienced side effects.I am happy for you having felt better through steroids.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jan 16
You are very lucky. Side effects are common, and often negative. I rarely have side effects at all, except to those I am allergic. I avoid them completely.
@DeborahDiane (24204)
• Laguna Woods, California
17 Jan 16
I'm not sure, but aren't there inhalers that contain steroids? Perhaps your doctor can prescribe one that will help you.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jan 16
Yes, there are. I have this type of preventative medication. I use it once each morning and once at night. This is why my asthma is under control, but I like this deep breathing with no gunk in my lungs. It's great.
• Canada
16 Jan 16
I'm sorry you're still experiencing difficulties from your accident, but I'm glad the steroids are working well.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jan 16
Me too. My hope is the inflammation will not come back when I am finished with the meds.
1 person likes this
@Dalane (700)
• United States
16 Jan 16
I was put on an oral course of prednesone (a steroid) for six weeks one time and gained weight that was hard to lose. I wish my healthcare provider woudl have warned me about this side effect as I would have watched my eating more closely. FYI.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jan 16
This is what I am taking, but just for six days. Steroids make people very hungry. That is an unpleasant side effect. This one, however, is wonderful. Always read the very long list of harmful side-effects that come with medications. They list even the remote ones, but not the beneficial ones, like mine.
@fishtiger58 (30319)
• Momence, Illinois
26 Jan 16
That is very cool to discover this. I hope something can be done to your regular medication. I have never had to take medication for a prolonged time.